Malaysian students announced as winner of Microsoft Imagine Cup Asia Pacific Finals

Returning for the second year, seven triumphant student teams earned the opportunity to compete at the Imagine Cup World Finals in Seattle; teams from Thailand and Singapore took home the first runner-up and second runner-up prizes respectively

Microsoft today crowned Team PINE from Malaysia as the winner of its second Imagine Cup Asia Pacific Regional Finals, after a nail-biting finale against 14 other teams from across the region. Six other teams were also selected to continue their journey at the Imagine Cup World Finals which will be held in Seattle in July.

Team PINE developed a handheld sensing device that can help pineapple farmers efficiently and effectively evaluate optimal levels of ripeness prior to harvest, and in a non-intrusive manner. This is because traditional methods of determining ripeness use a refractometer, which subjects the fruit to destructive analysis. Team PINE’s solution aims to minimise wastage and help pineapple farmers maximise the percentage of harvest brought to market for export.

The first runner-up and second runner-up places were awarded to Team BeeConnex from Thailand, and Team 7x from Singapore, respectively.

Team BeeConnex from Thailand came up with the Smart Hive; an IoT device that enables beekeepers to track and monitor the health of a beehive. The device is also able to alert beekeepers when potential issues are detected within the hive.

Singapore’s Team 7x created ProCubeX, an interactive smart-learning cube designed as an early intervention tool for children with dyslexia. The cube will intelligently generate an individualized education plan for dyslexic children, triggering multisensory stimulation as well as the parts of the brain responsible for language learning.

In all, seven teams from the Imagine Cup APAC Regional Finals were selected to continue their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup World Finals. The seven teams are:

Team Name Market Prize
Team PINE Malaysia Champion
Team BeeConnex Thailand 1st Runner-Up
Team 7x Singapore 2nd Runner-Up
Team Beehive Drone Indonesia *Worldwide Finalist
Team Classum Korea *Worldwide Finalist
Team En#22.45km Korea *Worldwide Finalist
Team SochWare Nepal *Worldwide Finalist

* In no particular order of merit

The student teams will take their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup World Finals. Held in Seattle this July, the World Finals will gather more than 50 student teams from all over the world, all vying for the top prize of up to US$100,000, mentorship opportunities with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and credits to bring their winning solution to the market.

The 15 finalist teams which participated in the regional finals came from nine countries, including Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. These teams were selected from local finals that were held in each country earlier this year. To find more about each team and their cutting-edge innovation, please click here.

Dave Miller, Commercial Software Engineering Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific, said: “Imagine Cup has always strived to be the platform for students to turn their dreams into entrepreneurial realities. Every year, we have the privilege to witness great ideas from budding innovators working hard to solve pressing challenges with smart, effective solutions. We are here to help them take their first steps towards achieving their goals, and we are excited to see how their ideas will define the future we will live in.”

The “People’s Choice Award” accolade was awarded to Team BeeTech from Vietnam, who developed a Smart Car Box that can help car owners pre-empt any possible complications before they occur. The team garnered admiration from fans through an online voting component of the regional finals.

This year’s judging panel includes Siti Norliza Mohd Sahar, Director, Talent & Digital Entrepreneurship, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Kelvin Tan Cheng Kian, Programme Director, National University of Singapore Enterprise; Michael Teoh Su Lim, Founder, Thriving Talents; Bikesh Lakshminand, Founder & CEO of 1337 Ventures; Alvin Chai, UX Consultant & Co-founder of Netizen Experience; LJ Chiu, Director, Audience Evangelism, Commercial Software Engineering, Microsoft, and Chris Auld, Director, Technical Evangelist, Commercial Software Engineering, Microsoft.

Michael Teoh Su Lim, Founder, Thriving Talents, shared: “This year’s competition saw many outstanding projects by talented students who have the passion to solve real-world issues that many countries in the region face today. We are excited by the passion and depth of innovation we’ve seen this year and are positive that they will make a difference in our digital future.” Michael is also an Imagine Cup alumnus, having previously participated in the New Zealand Imagine Cup in 2008, with his team taking home the Consumer’s Choice Award that year.

Microsoft forms partnerships to develop next generation of technologists in Asia Pacific

This year, Microsoft partnered with the U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and Siri Ventures, for the Imagine Cup Asia Pacific Finals. Microsoft’s partnership with these organizations is a strong testament of the commitment to empower young talents to innovate and build real world solutions that enable people to achieve more for a better future.

GIST is the U. S. Department of State’s flagship science and technology entrepreneurship program that works to support and empower young innovators from 130 emerging economies around the world. GIST partners with the Imagine Cup competition in a shared commitment with Microsoft to use technology to solve the world’s toughest problems by inspiring student creativity, and empowering students to realize their visions by using new technology platforms.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation or MDEC (formerly known as Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd.) is the lead agency in driving the digital economy in Malaysia under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia. Since its inception 20 years ago, MDEC’s mission is to develop the nation’s digital economy. MDEC’s implementation efforts are centered on driving investments, building local tech champions, catalyzing digital innovation ecosystems and propagating digital inclusivity.

Siri Ventures is owned by Thailand’s largest property developer, Sansiri, and its strategic shareholder, Siam Commercial Bank.  Siri Ventures is a corporate venture capital who recognizes the need for technology acceleration, acquisition and adoption, either by creating, investing and partnering with startups in the real estate and adjacent industries. They are on the constant lookout for startups who will innovate the ecosystem through cutting edge technology and ideas to market.

The partnerships aim to encourage youth and entrepreneurship, provide students with opportunities and training to hone their digital skills in cutting-edge technologies, as well as fuel their creativity in building innovative solutions that matter.

Held annually since 2003, the Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition, known affectionately by participants as the “Olympics of student technology competitions”. This year’s Imagine Cup encouraged teams to “Code with Purpose”, whereby projects were developed to address a community or societal issue with technology.

For more information about Imagine Cup, please visit https://www.imaginecup.com/.